This is a practice that we have been following since the formation of the company. The plugins that we offer are alone not responsible for helping us gain an edge over our competitors. There’s more to it.
Here are the 5 things that I think what sets us apart from our competitors:
1. We hardly say “It’s somebody else’s fault. Please contact that author.”
There are numerous instances when this happens. Deactivating another plugin or changing the theme results in your plugin working smoothly. Or our plugin is not sending out email notifications, which has something to do with the email server & not our plugin.
How do we deal with such situations? The one thing that we always keep in mind is to make our plugin work for the customer. If it’s their email server which is not sending the emails, then we try to liaise with their hosting company. If it’s another plugin or theme that is causing a conflict, we try to find out what exactly is the reason for the conflict. If we can find that, we tell the customer to inform the plugin author about it. If we are unable to find what’s the real reason for the conflict, we do let the customer know that we tried, but we couldn’t find out what’s causing it.
2. We make our customers a part of our plugin’s growth
When a customer suggests a feature that is not part of the plugin, we don’t say no. That does not imply we build that feature. But we evaluate that feature.
It is evaluated based on 3 things: Usefulness of the feature to other customers, Time frame to develop & test that feature and lastly, our current priorities.
On most occassions, if the feature is something that we can develop in less then 4 hours, and if it is something we can also include in our core, we take it up without any extra charges to the customer. If it is something that we cannot include it in our core, but is of utmost importance to the customer, then we develop it for the customer in a way so they can continue to receive future updates (using hooks & filters).
For example, when using Amazon payments with WooCommerce, the delivery date field from our Order Delivery Date Pro plugin would not show up on the checkout page. If the field is marked mandatory, then there is no way the order could be completed. This is a critical issue. We fixed & applied it on the customer’s site in less than 24 hours from the time it was reported.
Another example: In the WooCommerce Booking & Appointment plugin, a customer needed a way to hide past bookings from the View Bookings page. We realized this is an important thing. We fixed it for that customer on his website, included it in our core plugin & released it in the next update.
Below is a part of what the customer mentioned for us on our Testimonials page. Caution: Long read
More importantly, as we progressed we discovered various situations that the plugin did not accommodate, such as the ability to filter out previous bookings so my client would be able to only view current bookings and not have to wade through pages and pages of already passed bookings, as well as the ability to filter bookings by check-in date. This is when we discovered the real value that Tyche Software had. In every instance where had a development request or found a bug in the program, Tyche Software’s customer support team responded immediately not only to acknowledge our requests but they consistently worked with us to find a solution to accommodate our client’s need. In the case of our ability to filter out previous booking the created a custom routine that made this possible and then eventually incorporated that ability into their current versioning of the plugin. So not only has their response for support been amazing, they have actually listened to a customer’s request, found value in it and changed their product to make that ability available to everyone. To have a company consistently respond to a customer support issue is one thing, to have them quickly and effectively find a solution to the problem is a whole level above what you would normally expect. To then have them actually incorporate your suggestion into the betterment of their product for everyone, is almost unheard of. I actually feel like Tyche Software has allowed us to be a part of their growth.
I highly recommend Tyche Software to anyone looking for solidly built applications that do what they do, but more importantly I recommend them for their continued dedication to listening to their customer’s to solve their problems and better their product.”
– Tony TerBorg, Design Partner and Founder,InnerVision Design Group (IDG), http://innervisiondesigngroup.com
Orange, CA USE
Due to our small team size & focus on limited plugins, we are able to move in an agile way.
3. We support our Lite versions (free) the same way as paid ones
We do not have a policy that we will only provide support to customers who purchase our premium (paid) plugins. Infact, providing support to the Lite versions is even more important so we can have those customers upgrade to our Pro plugins.
We did have a patch where we were unable to pay much attention to our Lite version support due to unavailability of resources. Apart from that, it’s been same as the support we provide for Pro versions.
In the last 2 months, we released about 8 updates combined to our Lite version plugins.
4. We communicate clearly to our customers
We do not provide 24×7 support, unlike many other WordPress companies. Many times, when a customer is in urgent need of support & if they raise a ticket after our work hours, they have to wait for approximately 12 to 15 hours before we are able to reply them. By the time we come back in the morning, we have the same customer creating a topic on the forums, creating a ticket & emailing me on every possible email address that Tyche has. Oh and they would also post it on Twitter & Facebook.
In such cases, we try to educate them that we are in a timezone which is opposite to theirs and hence the delay. Most of the times they do understand.
Many times when we are about to leave, we get a new ticket. It does not mean that I ask my team to check that issue at that time itself, unless it’s very urgent. But we do make it a point to let the customer know that we have received their ticket & since we are leaving for the day, we shall check back on the issue on the next day.
Doing the above 2 things works in 90% of cases.
Just sent a support request to awesome @tychesoftwares, happy to do so. Why? Because I know that it will be taken care of nice and swiftly.
— Franz Sauerstein (@FranzSauerstein) June 1, 2015
5. We are not experts at everything, but we learn fast
Many of our customers say that we know our stuff well! I wouldn’t refute that, but I don’t agree 100% with them.
There are occassions when we are as clueless as our customers as to why something is not working. After trying to fix an issue for a whole day, we may not have anything positive to update to the customer.
When we face such times, we inform our customers what all approaches we have tried to fix the issue. This encourages the customer to come up with a solution which we could try out. If things don’t go anywhere, we provide alternative ways to work around the issue to the customer.
When we faced an issue with Amazon Payments with WooCommerce, the first time we took 24 hours to fix the issue & deploy on client’s site. The next time the same issue was reported, it took us less then 10 hours to deploy on client’s site. In this case, we are yet to figure out how to integrate this in the core plugin of Order Delivery Date Pro. But usually we write a blog post for such cases, where we do have a fix but haven’t yet added it to the core.
Even a refund request, when handled appropriately, turns into a positive experience for the customer.
You can find the list of all the above Facebook reviews here.
I don’t know what sets you apart from your competitors. May be it’s the same things as I mentioned above, may it’s more then that. I would love to hear from you on what works best for you, your team & your customers!